Jette Kernion's blog

Caveh Zahedi appearing at Dobie


Caveh Zahedi's film I Am a Sex Addict opens at Dobie this Friday as part of the ongoing AFS@Dobie collaboration. The director (and lead actor) himself will be in attendance at the 7:30 pm screenings on Friday and Saturday night. Zahedi will introduce the film and hold a Q&A session afterwards. Austin Film Society members get a discount on tickets, which you have to buy through the Dobie. (Happily, if you buy the tickets online you still get the AFS discount.) If you want to know more about the film, the AFS site has a good description.

Scanner premiere tickets running out

Austin Movie Blog is reporting that tickets are selling fast for the local premiere of A Scanner Darkly on Wednesday 6/28 at The Paramount. (I guess the SXSW screening didn't count as a premiere ... the movie wasn't quite finished then.) So if you're planning to attend, buy tickets ASAP. The screening will be followed by a Q&A from director Richard Linklater and other cast/crew members.

Here's the difficulty, for me: Austin Film Society, one of the premiere's sponsors, isn't selling the tickets through its usual online service. You have to buy the tickets through The Paramount's box office, which means you have to drive downtown to The Paramount during its (limited) box-office hours. And park downtown to do it, too. The AFS online ticket service has had its problems over the years, particularly with large or in-demand event (most memorably, the server crashed during QT 6 sales), but right now I would really appreciate using it to buy tickets for this premiere. Even a phone option would be nice. The Paramount's usual ticket service may work well for theater and live performances, but many moviegoers are spoiled by the ease of online purchases for screenings. At least I am.

I've already seen A Scanner Darkly at SXSW and previewed it for Cinematical. I'd like to see the movie again, completed, outside of festival crunch mode. And I would certainly recommend the film, whether you catch it at the local premiere or after it releases on July 7. You may not actually like the movie, but it's fascinating.

Metroblogging likes Nueva Onda movie nights


Lauren at Metroblogging Austin recently posted an upbeat story about her experience at last week's Nueva Onda Movie Night. I'm happy she had a good time ... because I'm on the programming committee for the monthly outdoor screenings.

Naturally, I want to encourage all of you to go to Nueva Onda's movie nights, which are on the second Wednesday of each month, starting around 8 pm (or a little later, whenever it gets dark enough). Admission is free. You can order giant plates of nachos or enchiladas, have some beer, and enjoy a variety of short narrative and documentary films (or the occasional feature). Get there a little early if you want a good table where you can eat and watch the movies, or else you can move your chair when the movies begin. You can flicks [at] nuevaaustin [dot] com (join the mailing list) to find out in advance about the film lineup for the next month's screening.

Also, if you are a filmmaker and you have some short films or features stashed away, why not submit them to Nueva Onda for consideration? jette [at] celluloideyes [dot] com (Email me) for more information about where to send a copy of the film, etc. You don't have to live in Austin to submit a film -- last week's theme was "World Short Films."

Fantastic Fest posts confirmed titles


I attended Fantastic Fest in its first year last year and had a great time. (Well, except for the embarrassing moment where I almost fell asleep during Wild Blue Yonder.) This year, the Austin science-fiction/horror/fantasy film festival has expanded to one week and looks like it'll be bigger and better. An early list of confirmed films in the festival was released this week: I have been wanting to see The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes for some time, so I was especially glad to see it included. I'm also interested in the documentary Midnight Movies, which looks like it might have some good interviews with people like George A. Romero and Richard O'Brien. Festival badges are already on sale if you're interested.

In addition, Fantastic Fest is still taking submissions for short and feature films, through July 15. It would be wonderful to see a few local filmmakers and/or locally shot films included in this year's lineup.

Kier-La has my dream job


I'm a little envious of Kier-La Janisse, one of the programmers at Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, even though I've never met her. Wouldn't it be wonderful to get to program a series for Alamo Drafthouse? Austinist posted an interview with Kier-La today, focusing on her work building up the Music Monday series at Alamo. I haven't been to Music Mondays yet -- we saw Head at Alamo around New Year's, but it wasn't a Monday. I'd like to go to a Music Monday screening soon and report back here on how I liked it, the same way I wrote about Weird Wednesday at Alamo recently for Celluloid Eyes. However, I doubt I'll have time for Music Monday before July, as things are pretty busy chez Jette right now.

Speaking of which, posting here will probably be light for the next week or so, because I'm getting married on Saturday. I wish I'd given Tim League my wedding date as soon as we set it, because of course I am such an important person that Alamo Drafthouse/Rolling Roadshow would never have booked my wedding weekend with a preview screening event for Nacho Libre and an outdoor showing of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with cast members in attendance. Just because I can't be there doesn't mean you can't, though ... tickets are still available for the Russ Meyer-themed extravaganza on Saturday.

Linklater's "Hook 'Em" at Cannes explained?


I'd been wondering why Richard Linklater decided to flash the "Hook 'Em Horns" sign during Cannes last week. Perhaps it's because the local director has been filming a documentary about the Longhorns baseball team, as the Austin American-Statesman reports today. The documentary's been following the college team for the last seven months. The Texas baseball team has won six national championships, but none consecutively -- the documentary will focus on the team's efforts this year to become champions two years in a row. UT gets copies of the footage once shooting is complete. No word yet on the potential audience/distribution: could be theatrical, cable, or PBS.

[via Matt Dentler's Blog]

Gretchen goes to LAFF


The locally made feature film Gretchen, which premiered at SXSW earlier this year, has been added to the Los Angeles Film Festival lineup. Gretchen was directed by local filmmaker Steve Collins as an expansion of his short film Gretchen and the Night Danger.

I was surprised and pleased by the film about an awkward teenage girl when I saw it at SXSW. I was impressed by the cinematography from the ubiquitous P.J. Raval, as well as the music by Graham Reynolds (who also scored A Scanner Darkly). If you're going to LAFF at the end of June, the film is well worth seeing.

If you're in Austin, you also may get a chance to see Gretchen soon -- I ran into the Screen Door Film guys earlier this week, and they told me that they're planning to host a screening of the movie in the next couple of months.

[via Back to Me]

Stargazing opportunity: Diane Ladd


Diane Ladd in Alice Doesn't Live Here AnymoreIf you want a chance to see and hear a first-rate film actress in person, and maybe even ask questions, BookPeople can help you out. Diane Ladd will be reading from and signing her book Spiraling Through the School of Life this Saturday, June 3, at 5 pm.

Diane Ladd is the type of character actress whom you've surely seen in something -- she started acting for TV in 1959 and still takes TV and film roles today. She's been in The Wild Angels, Chinatown, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (above, with the beehive), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and Rambling Rose ... and in Wild at Heart and Citizen Ruth she played Laura Dern's character's mother. She is in fact Dern's real-life mom. I don't know much about her book, but I believe I'd enjoy hearing her talk about her film career.

If you're not up for an in-person appearance, Diane Ladd's Web site contains a lot of fun photos, including one of her from The Wild Angels with her then-husband Bruce Dern.

Tommy Pallotta on A Scanner Darkly


IGN has posted an interview with Tommy Pallotta, the Austin animator and filmmaker who produced A Scanner Darkly. Pallotta now has a blog on IGN; his first entry is about his experience premiering A Scanner Darkly at Cannes with director Richard Linklater and various stars from the movie. It's a long entry with lots of fun photos; hope he'll be able to keep it up and share more stories about his work on the film.

Most interesting quote from the interview: "We spent probably 500 man-hours per minute of animation."

I watched Pallotta and other animators demo the rotoscoping process at Fantastic Fest last year, and I can believe that estimate. Even with the latest software, it was very detailed work. The movie releases in theaters in July and even though I caught it at SXSW, I'd like to see it again.

A lesson on "gestures" for non-Texans


Richard Linklater hooks 'emI was reading an AP wire story about Richard Linklater at the premiere of his film A Scanner Darkly at Cannes, and was a little surprised by the accompanying photo. Go have a look.

The photo caption begins: "American director Richard Linklater gestures as he attends a press conference ..."

Pop quiz: What exactly is that gesture? And how difficult would it be for the photographer or writer to figure it out? Couldn't they have asked Linklater?

If you're not a University of Texas sports fan, you might not know that the gesture is in fact the "Hook 'em Horns" sign made by loyal Longhorns everywhere. But I can't imagine that the Longhorn sign is unknown outside the state of Texas. You'd think after the U.S. President flashed the "Hook 'em" sign last year and was misinterpreted, that reporters would have learned about it by now.

I would love to know exactly why Linklater was making the sign during a Cannes press conference. Was it a little secret cheer that he figured only the Austinites would understand? Or was there some other context involved?

Obviously the point of this story is that someone needs to send me to Cannes the next time Linklater, or any other Austin filmmaker, happens to be there.

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